Early in the morning one day in spring I had one of
those small but extraordinary experiences that is hard to
forget. I came downstairs with my young daughter to find a
brilliant pool of light on our kitchen ceiling. At first we
‘The obvious is usually profoundly significant.’
(Edward O. Wilson)
What does it mean to feel a connection with nature? It means
gaining an insight into the most important network there
ever has been and ever will be. It means becoming aware of
our relationship with...
Meet Chad. Chad is a personal trainer, from the Coen
brothers’ film Burn After Reading. He is a fictional
character, but we recognize him immediately: muscular,
handsome, full of energy and positive thinking – and as
dumb as a sack of small stones.
We are fooled by a scientific education if we believe that
the accumulation knowledge brings us ever closer to the
world around us. It is not knowledge that counts, when we
are talking about direct and immediate human experience, it
“There is a...
Picture yourself enjoying a meal outside an auberge in the
Provençal countryside. The fields of lavender roll off into
the distance. French voices murmur around you. You’re
served a beautiful chilled Rosé in a rustic earthenware
carafe. You ask what it is. The owner...
The end of the year is the traditional season to take stock
of your life: what better way than to do so by moonlight,
connected to a much older cycle of time than the one we
usually live by. I did this in...
For those of us who live in an urban setting, moonlight,
starlight and darkness itself are increasingly rare
commodities. What do we lose by living in a man-built
environment of perpetual day? This excerpt reveals the
powerful psychological effect the night sky can have...
The journalist and writer Richard Louv has coined and
popularized an extremely catchy way of diagnosing something
that is going wrong with our technology-rich, time-poor and
ever more urban lives. Starting with ‘Last Child in the
Woods’ in 2005, and followed by ‘The Nature...
Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo…
For much of my life, a trip to the Zoo has been a pleasant
diversion, a reassuringly familiar tramp, around the caged
curiosities with ice creams, small children and that
lingering perfume of the banana at the bottom...
At the age of thirty, I was offered the tenancy of a cottage
high in the hills of mid-Wales for just a peppercorn rent; a
cottage with no electricity, gas or running water. I had no
plan when I went there. I was...
When we stop to consider the towns and cities that we have
built around us, it is astonishing how abominable most
public landscaping is and how detrimental to the human
spirit. How is it that we have we come to a collective
agreement to accept it? Why do...